Every film from Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" essays.
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Indiana Jones - the new hero from the creators of JAWS and STAR WARS.
When Dr. Indiana Jones – the tweed-suited professor who just happens to be a celebrated archaeologist – is hired by the government to locate the legendary Ark of the Covenant, he finds himself up against the entire Nazi regime.
Although Steven Spielberg's Jaws gets the distinction of being the very first blockbuster in cinema history, the blueprint of modern blockbuster filmmaking was brought to life by none other than Spielberg's early 1980s action-adventure, Raiders of the Lost Ark, which didn't just become one of the finest examples of its genre but even today remains one of the most enjoyable & entertaining works of this esteemed director's extensive career.
Set in the year of 1936, Raiders of the Lost Ark concerns an archaeologist & adventurer named Indiana Jones who is hired by the US government to find the Ark of the Covenant after learning that the Führer is after the same biblical artifact which, according to him, would make his army an…
I was recently posed the question; ‘what is the greatest blockbuster of all time?’ It is a question I pondered for barely a second before answering: Raiders of the Lost Ark.
It’s hard to think of a film filled with more iconic moments. In one movie Spielberg, and to his credit, Lucas, have managed to create more iconic images and lines of dialogue in a single film than most filmmakers achieve in a lifetime: the boulder dash, retrieving the hat, the melting face, sword vs. gun, the snake pit. I could easily go on, practically every sequence in the film has at least one standout moment that has become part of the public’s consciousness.
Yet a film made up of…
Quite possibly the best adventure film of all time.
It's not the years, honey, it's the mileage.
Even before anything actually happens in the film, or even before we've seen Indiana's face, you feel like you're watching something special just by the font of the opening credits. As ridiculous as that sounds I think it's true. As the letters appear superimposed over three characters we haven't met yet traipsing through a unidentified jungle, you can feel it in your gut that you're about to experience something fantastic. It's one of the rare films that made going to the movies a truly special experience.
The film is simply iconic. It's filled with iconic characters, iconic moments and even an iconic musical score. We've all heard the stories about…
Spielberg and Lucas infect Raiders of the Lost Ark with all the glee and frenetic spirit of children who've just been given their first toy guns. It's filmed with such a genuine love of its influences, its adventures and characters that you literally have to hang on to its plot much the same way Indy hangs on to his beloved hat and Ark of the Covenant loaded trucks.
Regardless of the argument about whether Indiana Jones actually affects the end of the story, for me it's about his persistence and determination to do what's right than be a hero for the ages.
That, and the fact he looks fucking cool in a fedora.
This film entails the essence of everything I love about going to the movies.
What's to say? This movie has no story. There's a plot, but nothing underneath it. I'm too old to excuse colonialist bullshit for the sake of one cool action sequence that The Road Warrior did better the same year (the truck chase). Indiana Jones is a dick and I couldn't wait for this movie to be over. What seems so diagrammed and ostentatious and over-thought here Spielberg would make look effortless 13 years later with Jurassic Park.
Adventure has a name. And it is RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK.
A pulp hero who we could care less about in terms of back story may not have been the icon he is today had Harrison Ford not been cast. It may not have been as lasting had the story been more fantastical (just look at some of those early storyboards). And just imagine this tale without the vision of Steven Spielberg. If you can see all that, you're probably picturing something like Richard Chamberlain in King Solomon's Mines.
Instead what we thankfully have here is the perfect action adventure with just the right amount of supernatural to raise the stakes. Ford not only gave us Han Solo but…
The quintessential modern adventure movie.
THE GIST: Steven Spielberg's classic film is the first in a series of heart-thumping action-adventures starring the worlds favorite archeologist Indiana Jones. In what may be the definitive blockbuster, Indiana must recover the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis do and obtain unparalleled power. This film is one of the most thrilling times to be had at a cinema ever. Every aspect of the film shines: the smart script, the great performances and even richer characters, the deliberate and exciting pacing. Spielberg's touch here is riveting and has yet to be topped. When you think of both crowd-pleasing and smart filmmaking, this definitive film is one of the first to come to mind. The practical stunts add to the…
Just one thing: still one of the greatest adventure movies of all time.
I think if there was one film I would want to see on the big screen, it would probably be Raiders of the Lost Ark. And today, I got that opportunity. And it was beautiful.
Raiders of the Lost Ark is the definition of adventure. Indiana Jones is the definition of action hero. Steven Spielberg is the definition of director. And the Indiana Jones theme song is the definition of a theme song.
I love the score. I love the cinematography. I love that we don't actually see Ford until he shoots and is revealed from the darkness, and you just know from then on: he's a badass. I love the whole opening tomb sequence. I love that the film…
Good action all the way through. Ending was meh. Cheesy parts spoilt it a bit.
Even though Raiders of the Lost Ark is an incredible mix of comedy and old school action in a way that hadn't really been done prior, I think a person's love for Raiders comes from its importance in their childhood. I did not watch Raiders of the Lost Ark growing up, since my parents were afraid I would freak out when I saw Nazi faces melting. To their credit, Christopher Lloyd tripping over his own eyeballs in Who Framed Roger Rabbit? is the first time I remember being scared in my life, so probably a good call. Ironically, the first time I saw the face melting was in my Catholicism class, easily the most exciting thing to ever happen to…
- 12 Angry Men
- 2001: A Space Odyssey
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- A Trip to the Moon
- The Great Train Robbery
- The Birth of a Nation
- Les Vampires
All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1167. An easy way of seeing how…
- The Godfather
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- The Godfather: Part II
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